‘Prevalence of genital mutilation in Osun worrisome’

The wife of Osun State governor, Mrs Sherifat Aregbesola, has described the highest prevalence of female genital mutilation in the state as worrisome, contending that sensitisation and awareness campaign must be stepped up to stop the practice.

Addressing a press conference in Osogbo, the state capital, Aregbesola, who is also the president of Sheri Care Foundation, said concerted efforts should be made by all relevant stakeholders to tackle the growing menace of female genital mutilation, which is more prevalent in the Southern zone than the Northern region of the country.

She maintained that data from National Demographic Health Survey, 2013 indicated that “Nigeria has the third largest absolute number of women and girls (19.9 million) who have undergone Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) worldwide after Egypt and Ethiopia.”

Quoting the data from the National Demographic Health Survey, Aregbesola asserted that “80 per cent of women in Nigeria undergo circumcision before age five.

FGM is more prevalent in the Southern zones than the Northern zones. The result of this survey puts states with the highest prevalence as Osun (77 per cent), Ebonyi (74per cent), Ekiti (72per cent), Imo (68per cent), Oyo (66per cent) and Lagos (34.5per cent).”

“It is more worrisome from the above data that our state (Osun) stays on top of the national prevalence data.

This calls for concern and the need to mobilise all stakeholders to help stop this unwholesome practice,” she remarked.